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Passing out parade for Kent’s newest firefighters

12 December 2019

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An official passing out parade to welcome ten new wholetime firefighters to Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) took place today at Rochester Fire Station.

Attended by family and friends of the trainees, the occasion was held to welcome the firefighters and showcase their newly honed skills. Chosen from over 5,000 applicants, the trainees have just completed 15 weeks of intense training designed to equip them with the necessary skills and techniques required to become a firefighter. In order to reach this stage, the trainees underwent a number of comprehensive selection assessments, including situational awareness, problem solving and physical testing. The individuals, who are all part of the last cohort from the 2017 recruitment drive, were then interviewed before being selected to join KFRS’ trainee course 182.

Trainee firefighter demonstration at the passing out parade

The training that followed included intensive courses around the daily challenges and risks faced by today’s fire service when responding to a wide range of emergency incidents. This included, but was not limited to, learning how to use fire engine equipment in a wide range of emergency scenarios, working safely at height and in confined spaces, learning firefighting techniques, training in hazardous materials and dealing with road traffic collisions.

After being tested against a range of realistic scenarios to help them prepare them for the life of a firefighter, the recruits successfully passed their final assessments and were able to showcase their skills at today’s passing out parade in the form of a road traffic collision demonstration, drill and firefighting display. The trainees will be placed at their respective fire stations in January and will soon be actively responding to 999 incidents around the county.

Nikki Escudier, Lead Training Coach

Nikki Escudier, Lead Training Coach, said: “It’s been a fantastic few months training the group. They have all worked so hard, and my fellow training coaches and I feel honoured to have been part of this journey. The trainees have bonded brilliantly as a team but are looking forward to starting work at their own stations in January. It’s been an absolute pleasure training them – well done, trainee course 182!”

But the training doesn’t stop here, as the trainees have now entered a two-year development phase. During this time, they will be honing and building on core skills already attained during training.  

Naumaan Zuberi, a trainee firefighter who will be based at Thames-side, described his time so far as an “unforgettable experience”.

“Thank you to my fellow recruits, the training coaches and staff who have made this course an unforgettable and once in a lifetime experience – from all of the drills and assessments, to the support and encouragement, it has been an incredible journey that I look forward to continuing.”

North McKenzie, who will be based at Dartford, said, “Out of everything I have ever done in life, this is what I’m most proud of. There will be no better feeling than knowing that I could potentially be saving someone’s life every time I put on the uniform, and I hope to have a long, enjoyable career within the service.”

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Ann Millington, Chief Executive

KFRS Chief Executive, Ann Millington also said: “I’d like to pass on a huge congratulations to our new trainee firefighters for passing their initial training. They’ve done incredibly well over the last four months and I’m sure are now all looking forward to joining crews at wholetime stations in West and Mid-Kent. Not only have the trainees chosen a career dedicated to keeping the people of Kent safe, but they will most likely be involved in huge life-saving missions in the future. I wish them all the very best in their future career with Kent Fire and Rescue Service.”

Read more on the new trainee firefighters in your area:

Trainee firefighters in Mid Kent

Trainee firefighters in West Kent

Trainees carry out a road traffic collision demonstration at the passing out parade
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